|sec baseball RESULTS
|Kentucky 9, UNC Asheville 2
|South Carolina 4, Liberty 3
|Auburn 3, Maine 2
|Arkansas 9, W. Illinois 1
|Mississippi State 16, Portland 1
|Vanderbilt 10, Long Beach State 4
|Ole Miss 1, TCU 0
|Missouri , Southern Miss
|Georgia 6, Georgia Southern 5
|Duke 4, Florida 3
|Alabama 8, VMI 3
|UIC @ Texas A&M
|LSU 1, Maryland 0
|UNLV 10, Tennessee 9
REED PACES NO. 8 BASEBALL IN 9-2 OPENING WIN
SPARTANBURG, S.C. -- Sophomore All-America southpaw A.J. Reed worked five innings on the mound and went a career-best 4-for-5 at the plate with three RBI, leading No. 8 Kentucky to a 9-2 season-opening win over UNC Asheville, on a gorgeous Friday afternoon at Wofford’s Russell C. King Field.
A 6-foot-4, 245-pound native of Terre Haute, Ind., Reed highlighted the win for the Wildcats, working five innings with two runs allowed on the mound and equaling his career-best with a 4-for-5 game and three RBI at the dish, including his first career triple.
“It was a lot of fun,” Reed said about his opening game. “It is always good to get a win in your first game. I was just going out there to try and do what I could to help the team get the win. Getting the start on the first game, there is a little bit of pressure and you are a little bit fired up, your adrenaline is going a little bit. You just got to settle down and make a pitch when you needed to and I was able to for the most part.”
Junior second baseman J.T. Riddle also starred in UK’s season-opening win, going a career-high equaling 3-for-4 in his first career start at the cleanup hitter. A native of Frankfort, Ky., Riddle pounded doubles off the left and rightfield walls, marking his first career multiple-double game.
“My approach was just to get the foot down, that is what I have been working on for the last month or so,” Riddle said about his mindset entering the opener. “Just see the ball and hit it where it is pitched. I knew they were going pitch me away all day and I got that first double down the leftfield line, which felt great to get. Later on they came inside and I just went with the ball, focused on the middle and hit it where it was pitched.”
Kentucky (1-0) also got multiple-hit games from All-America centerfielder Austin Cousino, who went 2-for-4 with two walks and reached on an error, also stealing two bases. Rightfielder Zac Zellers went 2-for-5 with an RBI and a walk, while leftfielder Lucas Witt added a 2-for-5 game with an RBI. Max Kuhn – making his first career start – Paul McConkey and Matt Reida each added hits.
The Wildcats will play their second game of the 2013 season on Saturday, facing USC Upstate at 4 p.m. ET at Harley Park. UK will send preseason All-American Corey Littrell to the mound to face off with USC Upstate ace lefty David Roseboom. The game will be broadcast live on the UK IMG Radio Network, available in Lexington on WWTF 1580-AM and online at UKathletics.com.
Reed (1-0) tossed five innings, allowing six hits and two runs, not issuing a walk and striking out four. He was relieved to start the sixth by senior Walter Wijas, who worked 1.2 innings, allowing two hits and walking one, striking out one. Freshman Dylan Dwyer took over for Wijas in a two-out, two-on jam in the bottom of the seventh, getting a groundout to escape the threat. Freshman Kyle Cody worked a perfect ninth inning, striking out one in his collegiate debut.
UNC Asheville (0-1) starter Dean Roland (0-1) worked five innings, allowing eight hits and four runs, walking two and striking out two. Ethan Steible, Nick Schavone and Brian Connolly, Evan Joura and Andrew Kirkland pitched in relief of Roland.
Kentucky got on the board in the top of the first as Cousino laced a two-strike single into right-centerfield. With Cousino bluffing a steal, Zellers drove a single into the gap on the right side of the infield to set the stage for Reed. Reed pounded an RBI single into centerfield to score Cousino from centerfield. After another hit and run by Riddle pushed two runners into scoring position, Kuhn grounded out to score Zellers and Witt ripped a 1-0 single into centerfield to score Reed and give UK a 3-0 lead.
“I was pumped up,” Riddle said about his first at bat. “I was ready to get out there and ready to play. That first at bat, I felt like I had a good at bat and got to see a lot of pitches. My thought was when I got two strikes to just to something to get those runners over. I did my job and was happy with that and kept a good mindset going into the next at bats.”
UNC Asheville cut the UK lead to 3-1 with a two-out run in the bottom of the second. Ian Graham reached on a two-out single and after an extensive battle, Phillip Treadway doubled down the rightfield line, allowing Graham to score.
Kentucky got the run back in the top of the third, as Riddle led off with a laser off the 15-foot tall wall in leftfield, taking second on a double. Kuhn then pushed Riddle to third base with a groundout to the right side and McConkey scored Riddle with a groundout to first base for a 4-1 UK lead.
UNC Asheville got a run back in the bottom of the fifth inning, as Eli Miller led off getting hit by a pitch, scoring on Robert McIntosh’s one-out triple into right-centerfield.
UK notched two runs in the top of the sixth to stretched its lead to 6-2. Reida singled to centerfield to lead, taking second on a Micheal Thomas sacrifice bunt. Cousino drew a walk and Zellers poked a single to leftfield to score Reida, with Cousino hustling to third base. After sliding safely into third, Cousino was called out after separating from the base for the first out, with Zellers moving to third on the throw. Reed then laced a single to left-centerfield to score Zellers from second base.
In the eighth inning, Cousino led off with a hard-hit chopper back to the mound, bouncing off the glove of the pitcher and going as an error. After a strikeout, Reed pounded a triple off the 15-foot high wall in centerfield – his first career triple – scoring Cousino. Reed’s blast sailed over the head of the centerfielder, bouncing off the wall, with Reed having a hankering for a triple with a full-extension slide into third base. Riddle then followed with a double off the rightfield wall, scoring Reed from third. McConkey then smashed a single to centerfield to plate Riddle from second base.
South Carolina Defeats Liberty 4-3 on Opening Day
Columbia, S.C. – The Chad Holbrook era at South Carolina started off in victorious fashion as senior first baseman LB Dantzler homered and drove in two runs and sophomore left-hander Jordan Montgomery hurled six scoreless innings to pick up his first win of the season as fifth ranked South Carolina defeated Liberty 4-3 on Opening Day in front of a sellout crowd of 8,242 fans at Carolina Stadium. It was an emotional afternoon in Columbia as former head coach and current athletics director Ray Tanner was honored in several pregame ceremonies capped off by the retiring of his No. 1 jersey, the first retired jersey in South Carolina baseball history.
Montgomery did not allow a run and yielded just five hits and two walks while striking out five batters to pick up the victory. Senior left-hander Tyler Webb worked 1.2 hitless innings of relief with a pair of strikeouts to earn his first save of the season. Liberty starting pitcher Carson Herndon suffered the loss. He allowed one run on three hits with three walks and three strikeouts.
South Carolina broke ahead 1-0 in the bottom of the second inning on a solo home run by Dantzler. The senior first baseman drilled the first pitch he saw to give the Gamecocks a one-run lead.
It remained that way until the sixth inning when Carolina increased the advantage to 2-0. Graham Saiko led off with a walk. The Gamecocks then caught a break as a throwing error by Liberty reliever Jared Lyons on a little roller off the bat of Max Schrock gave Carolina runners on the corners. A sac fly off the bat of Dantzler scored Saiko.
South Carolina extended the advantage to 4-0 in the seventh inning. With the bases loaded and one out, TJ Costen scored on a wild pitch issued by Liberty reliever Josh Richardson. After a walk to Saiko loaded the bases again, Chase Vergason would score on a RBI fielder’s choice by Schrock.
Liberty would make things interesting in the top of the eighth inning. Trey Wimmer singled and walks to Nick Lacik and Nick Paxton gave Liberty bases loaded with one out. Ryan Cordell knocked a RBI double off the wall in left field to score a pair of runs. With Webb entering the game, Liberty would get one more on a RBI groundout by Bryan Aanderud. Webb would get out of the inning though with a strikeout of Danny Grauer. Webb then retired the Flames in order in the top of the ninth inning to preserve the Gamecock victory.
Dantzler went 2-for-2 with a pair of RBI. Cordell, Wimmer and Dalton Britt all had two hits apiece to lead Liberty.
The pregame ceremony honoring Ray Tanner feature a video message from school president Dr. Harris Pastides, the unveiling of Tanner Way, a street outside the stadium by the honorable Mayor Steve Benjamin, a South Carolina State Senate resolution featuring state senator John E. Courson, a license plate tag honor the back-to-back national championship from the My Carolina Alumni Association, a video tribute to Coach Tanner and the unveiling of the retired No. 1 jersey in left field.
Tomscha And Tigers Walk-Off With 3-2 Win On Opening Day
AUBURN, Ala. – Damek Tomscha belted the fifth pitch he saw in the bottom of the ninth inning over the wall in left, sending the Auburn baseball team to a 3-2, walk-off win over Maine in the 2013 season opener for both teams.
“That was pretty special,” Tomscha said. “He threw me a high and inside fastball and I got a good swing on it.”
Tomscha, a junior appearing in his first game at Auburn after transferring from Iowa Western Community College, worked a 3-1 count off of Maine reliever Shaun Coughlin (0-1) in the ninth before blasting it down the line and over the 30-foot high wall. The home run was Auburn’s fourth extra-base hit of the afternoon off of the Maine pitching staff as Auburn collected nine hits, three of which were doubles.
“What a hard-fought game,” Auburn Head Coach John Pawlowski said. “Maine played extremely well, they pitched well, but we had some good fortune today. Sam Gillikin went up at the wall and made a tremendous, athletic play. We turned a couple of double plays. Damek, what can you say. We really tried to shore up our defense and lo-and-behold he gets a ball up in the zone and he hits a big home run for us.”
Terrance Dedrick (1-0) earned the win out of the Auburn bullpen, striking out the only hitter he faced after entering with the potential tying run on second with two outs in the top of the ninth.
Hitting leadoff in his collegiate debut, true freshman Jackson Burgreen was 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles and he scored on a Garrett Cooper sixth inning double to tie it at 1-1. Cooper finished 1-for-4 with the double and also scored in the sixth on a Tomscha single to left that temporarily gave Auburn a 2-1 lead.
“Coach (Gabe) Gross told us, ‘You can be a freshman in the dugout before the game but when you step in between the lines you can’t be a freshman any more. You have to forget about everything and act like you know what you are doing,’” Burgreen said.
Getting the start in right, Gillikin made the defensive play of the game to end the fifth, robbing Maine’s Scott Heath of a three-run home run by bringing one back from over the wall that would have given Maine a 4-0 lead at the time.
Auburn’s bullpen combined to throw four innings behind starter Daniel Koger (5 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 2 K), allowing one run on three hits and a walk while striking out four.
Conner Kendrick logged two of the Auburn bullpen innings, holding Maine off the board before turning things over to Dedrick for the final out.
Maine starter Tommy Lawrence threw seven complete innings, allowing two runs on seven hits and two walks, striking out four.
Coughlin allowed the one run in an inning-plus of work.
Maine took a 1-0 lead in the second, capitalizing on an Auburn defensive error and then tied it at 2-2 in the seventh when Sam Balzano doubled and scored with one out in the inning.
Auburn’s defense turned a pair of inning-ending double plays, turning two in the first and fourth innings.
No. 1 Arkansas opens season with 9-1 win
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Eric Fisher went 2-for-4 with three RBI, including his first collegiate home run, while Ryne Stanek, Trey Killian and Tyler Wright combined to allow just one run on three hits as No. 1 Arkansas defeated Western Illinois, 9-1, in the 2013 season opener on Friday at Baum Stadium.
Eight of Arkansas’ nine starters recorded at least one hit for the Razorbacks with three different players having two hits each. Fisher led the way at the plate, driving in three runs on a pair of hits. Fisher had a two-RBI single in the bottom of the first and followed that up with a solo home run, the first of his collegiate career, in the bottom of the third. Brian Anderson reached base all five times he was at the plate, going 2-for-2 with a RBI and drawing three walks. Jacob Mahan was also a perfect 2-for-2 at the plate, with an RBI and a run scored. Jacob Morris reached base four times, drawing three walks and going 1-for-2 with two runs scored.
Ryne Stanek started and picked up the win in his season debut, throwing four innings and allowing a run on two hits with four strikeouts. Freshman Trey Killian made his collegiate debut in relief of Stanek and retired all nine batters he faced with one strikeout. Tyler Wright closed out the victory with three strikeouts in two innings.
Western Illinois starter Nick Smith was saddled with the loss after giving up seven runs on seven hits with six walks in three innings.
The Leathernecks had three hits in the loss. Dan Dispensa hit his first home run of the season, while Manny Reyes and Matt Risdon also contributed a hit each.
Arkansas jumped out to an early lead with a pair of runs in the bottom of the first. Matt Vinson and Morris walked to begin the frame and a sacrifice bunt by Tyler Spoon moved each runner into scoring position. Fisher brought home bought runners with a single into right to give the Razorbacks a 2-0 edge.
The Razorbacks broke the game open with a five-run rally in the home half of the third. Fisher took the third pitch of the inning over the right field wall and into the visitor’s bullpen to stretch the lead to 3-0. Anderson then walked and stole second, while Willie Schwanke walked to put runners on first and second. A bunt single by Jake Wise loaded the bases for Mahan, who ripped a single up the middle, scoring Anderson. Brett McAfee brought home Arkansas’ fifth run of the game with a sacrifice fly to right. An RBI single by Vinson to center field allowed Wise to trot home and make the score 6-0. After a walk to Morris loaded the bases again, Spoon drove in a RBI on a fielder’s choice to stretch the lead to 7-0.
The Leathernecks got on the board in the top of the fourth as Dispensa led off the inning with an opposite field home run to left field to cut the lead to 7-1.
Arkansas answered back in the bottom of the fifth with a run. Morris reached on an infield single to lead off the inning and then advanced to single on a single to left field by Spoon. After Fisher flied out to left, Morris stole third to put runners on the corners. Spoon was then picked off of first base for the second out, but Morris was able to score during the run down to make the lead 8-1.
The Razorbacks closed the scoring with a run in the bottom of the seventh. With one out, Spoon walked and then came around to score on Anderson’s two-out triple to center field to make the score 9-1.
NO. 5 BULLDOGS KNOCK OFF PORTLAND IN SEASON OPENER
STARKVILLE, Miss. – Fifth-ranked Mississippi State ushered in the 2013 baseball season in fine fashion Friday afternoon, posting a 16-1 win over Portland at Dudy Noble Field.
The Bulldogs collected 21 hits and won its 10th straight season opener and 10th straight home opener. Head coach John Cohen is now 5-0 in his season openers with the Maroon and White. In 14 seasons as a Division I collegiate head coach, Cohen has won every season opener.
It was the 999th all-time win for Mississippi State since the Bulldogs first started playing at the current site of Dudy Noble Field in 1967.
“It was a great to see lot of things from a lot of different guys today,” Cohen said. “We did some great things with runners in scoring position and really made some things happen.”
MSU broke open the contest with a seven-run second inning. In that at-bat, a total of 12 different Bulldogs went to the plate. The Bulldogs pounded out extra-base hits, including monster home runs by Wes Rea and C.T. Bradford.
“It’s good to get the first one,” said Rea, a sophomore first baseman. “We’ve worked real hard during the fall and set some big goals for the season. It is exciting to finally get things started.”
Catcher Mitch Slauter led the hit parade with a career high four hits. Slauter had RBI-singles in the second and fifth innings, before adding another single and double in the seventh and eighth innings respectively.
MSU grabbed the lead for good on Rea’s two-run blast in the first inning. An inning later, Portland starter Matt Mccallister was chased when the floodgates were opened. Trey Porter had a two-run single and Hunter Renfroe followed with an RBI-single ending the day for the Portland starter.
Bradford’s mammoth two-run shot to left field came in the third inning and pushed the lead to 11-1.
That would be more than enough offense for a quartet of Bulldog hurlers.
Jacob Lindgren (1-0) drew the opening day start and the sophomore left-hander pitched well. In six innings of work, Lindgren allowed five hits and one run (earned), with three strikeouts and three walks over 65 pitches of work.
Preston Brown, Myles Gentry and Chad Girodo threw an inning apiece and combined for no-hit relief.
For the Bulldogs, Adam Frazier and Daryl Norris each had three hits. Bradford and Porter had multiple hits.
Dores down Dirtbags in opener
Nashville, Tenn. – The No. 2 Vanderbilt Commodores opened the 2013 campaign with a convincing 10-4 victory over Long Beach State Friday afternoon at Hawkins Field.
The Dirtbags (0-1) scratched out a run in the second inning off Vandy starter Kevin Ziomek to draw first blood. The Commodores’ (1-0) offense, however, did not take long to give the lefty some support putting up five runs in the third inning to take the lead and never look back. The VU rally started when Joel McKeithan reached on an error by the third baseman and Xavier Turner followed with his first collegiate hit, a single to right that put runners on the corners. Tony Kemp’s fly ball looked to have tied the game on a sacrifice fly but Long Beach State center fielder Josh Guerra dropped the ball allowing McKeithan and Turner to score with Kemp moving into second base. Spencer Navin then knocked in a run on a perfectly executed hit and run play that saw the ball roll through the vacated spot at second base for a 3-1 VU lead. Mike Yastrzemski’s two-run triple capped the rally as the Dores batted around in the third.
After a shaky start, Ziomek (1-0) settled in after getting a 5-1 lead. The lefty did not allow a hit after the third and retired the final 11 batters he faced to earn his first win of 2013. Ziomek battled out of a jam in the third, with two runners aboard he struck out the next two batters to start his streak of 11 consecutive retired Dirtbags. The junior fanned seven over six innings while allowing four hits and one walk.
The Vanderbilt offense did not stop after a big third inning, stretching the lead to 8-1 with a three-run fourth. Kemp was again in the mix driving in a run with a single and scoring on Conrad Gregor’s base hit. The Dores pulled off a double steal for the third run of the inning with Jack Lupo swiping home. Connor Harrell crushed his first home run of the year in the fifth with a towering drive into the wind and over the scoreboard in left field. Nine different Commodores had at least one hit led by Kemp and Yastrzemski, who had two each. In all, 22 of the Dores’ 35-man roster saw the field with six true freshmen getting their first collegiate action. Freshmen Turner and Tyler Campbell both picked up the first hits of their career.
For the Dirtbags, Richard Prigatano and Jeff Yamaguchi led the way with a pair of hits apiece. Starter Jon Maciel (0-9) was pinned with the loss giving up 10 runs, five earned, on nine hits over four-plus innings.
HUBER SETS SAVE RECORD AS REBELS BLANK NO. 12 TCU
OXFORD, Miss. – Brett Huber became the career saves leader at Ole Miss on Friday night, closing out the ninth inning as No. 14 Ole Miss (1-0) shut out No. 12 TCU (0-1) by a score of 1-0 to open the weekend series and the 2013 season.
With one out on the board, a one-run lead and the bases loaded in the ninth TCU sent Kevin Daniels to the plate to pinch hit. Daniels connected and sent the ball to the right side of the infield where Sikes Orvis scooped the ball and threw to second for the out on the lead runner, Dylan Fitzgerald.
Austin Anderson snagged the throw from Orvis and went to throw to first when Fitzgerald slid and was called for interference, putting the third out on the board and clinching the shutout win for the Rebels.
Bobby Wahl (1-0) picked up the win, working 6.1 scoreless innings with three walks and eight strikeouts. He allowed only three hits on the afternoon.
Brandon Finnegan (0-1) took the loss as he allowed one unearned run through 6.0 innings of work with two walks and four strikeouts. Ole Miss tallied five hits off Finnegan in the outing.
“It looked like a Friday night in the SEC tonight,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “We had two aces really battling it out. Bobby (Wahl) was sensational tonight. (Brandon) Finnegan really matched him pitch for pitch. He’s a tough guy to face to start the season. We were able to manufacture a run. Sikes (Orvis) had a great at bat and base running. I’m proud of (Brett) Huber for hanging in there. You come out there to save the game, and you throw the ball in the strike zone like you’re supposed to. He shows why he is the all-time saves leader.”
TCU threatened early with a double to open the game and put a second man on with a one-out walk, but Wahl responded with back-to-back strikeouts to squelch the rally. Both pitchers quickly found a groove and its came at a premium for the whole night and both teams managed only three base runners through the first four innings of play.
The fifth inning saw fortunes change, as Orvis reached on a single up the middle to lead things off before taking second on a groundout to third from Andrew Mistone. A passed ball advanced Orvis to third before he came home to score when Will Jamison put down a squeeze bunt to put the Rebels the board.
TCU looked to make a move in the next half inning, getting a lead-off single to left to start the sixth, but a double play ended any hope of a rally and the Rebels held on to the lead.
Ole Miss would threaten again in the bottom half of the sixth, loading the bases with one out, only to have Finnegan work out of the jam and keep the score at 1-0 in favor of the home team.
Neither team would threaten again until the Horned Frogs loaded the bases in the ninth inning with an error, a bunt single and an intentional walk before Ole Miss got out of the jam and seized the win.
The two teams will face-off again at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday afternoon at Oxford-University Stadium/Swayze Field.
Alabama Baseball Posts Comeback Victory in Season Opener against VMI
After trailing 3-0, Crimson Tide posts 8-3 win over Keydets
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Freshman shortstop Mikey White went 4-for-5 and had the game-winning RBI in the seventh inning in his Alabama debut, as the Crimson Tide defeated the VMI Keydets, 8-3, in the season opener for both teams from Sewell-Thomas Stadium in Friday night. The winning pitcher was freshman right-hander Ray Castillo (1-0) and the losing pitcher was the Keydets’ Rian Ellis (0-1).
White had a monster night in his Alabama debut, with four singles, two RBI, a stolen base and a run scored. Sophomore outfielder Ben Moore went 2-for-3 with two singles, a walk, an RBI and a run scored and sophomore designated hitter Cary Baxter was 1-for-2 with a single, two walks and two runs scored. Castillo relieved Alabama starting pitcher Spencer Turnbull (3.2 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 1 K) in the fourth inning, going 3.1 innings, while allowing no runs on one hit and one walk with five strikeouts.
“For starters, I thought a couple of freshmen were keys to the game,” UA head coach Mitch Gaspard said. “Ray Castillo’s outing – to keep the game right there at 3-0, really on the heels of Kenny [Robert’s] great play at third after the leadoff triple and Mikey White had a tremendous night for his debut with us. I thought the biggest thing tonight was just we showed some fight and some grit that we have talked about and that we had wanted to see. After game one, I am pretty pleased with the effort that we saw. Now it’s putting those type games back-to-back and execute and do some of the good things that we did tonight.”
Freshman left fielder Ryan Blanchard, freshman center fielder Georgie Salem, freshman shortstop White, senior catcher Brett Booth and Moore all drove in the runs for the Crimson Tide.
Spencer Turnbull gave up a walk and a hit to his first two batters faced, but struck a batter out and drew a double play to get out of a first inning early jam. VMI struck first in the second inning, scoring two runs on two hits and one error. VMI added to the lead on a triple and sacrifice fly to center in the fourth inning.
After a leadoff triple by VMI’s Matt Winn opened the fifth, a great diving play by UA third baseman Kenny Roberts produced the first out of the inning. Castillo struck out Jordan Tarsovich, then after a walk to Ray Lopez, Castillo ended the inning with a swinging strikeout of Rob Dickinson.
The Tide cut the deficit to 3-2 in the bottom of the fifth when Blanchard and Salem cashed in on walks drawn earlier in the inning by Booth and Baxter. An RBI single by Blanchard plated Booth and a RBI on an infield groundout pushed Baxter across. Booth continued his clutch play in the sixth inning when his RBI sacrifice fly tied the game, 3-3.
White made a statement with two outs in the seventh inning, where he delivered a game-winning RBI single up the middle. Moore added to that lead when he stroked an RBI single of his own, putting the Tide up 5-3. Castillo pitched through the seventh inning, retiring seven straight to end his outing.
The Tide stretched the lead to 6-3 in the eighth when Booth scored on a passed ball. After Blanchard drew a walk on a 3-2 count, he stole second and third to put himself in position for a Mikey White RBI single. Salem scored the third run in the inning when VMI failed to pick off White at first base. Sophomore left hander Justin Kamplain threw a scoreless ninth inning to seal the victory for the Tide.
Bulldogs Win Thrilling Season Opener
STATESBORO-----Sophomore Jared Walsh made his pitching debut in the ninth and struck out the side plus added a home run Friday to lead Georgia to a 6-5 win over Georgia Southern.
A near-record crowd of 3,103 at JI Clements Stadium were treated to a thriller in the season opener and first meeting between the in-state rivals since 2005.
The Bulldogs (1-0) loaded the bases with two outs in the first but came up empty. The Eagles (0-1) used the momentum to build a 2-0 lead in their first at bat. Scooter Williams reached on a leadoff walk and Ben Morgan followed with a base hit. A wild pitch moved both Eagles in to scoring position. On a 3-2 pitch, catcher Chase Griffin delivered a two-run single. He would move to second on a passed ball and then scored on a base hit by Garren Palmer for a 3-0 advantage.
Georgia stormed back in the second, sending 10 men to the plate and surging ahead 5-3. Walsh, who started the game in right field, got the rally started by blasting the first pitch of the frame in to the trees in right field. It was his second career home run. Freshman J.T. Phillips collected an infield single in his debut and came around on an RBI-triple by sophomore Nelson Ward (4-for-5). Senior Curt Powell (3-fo--5) tied the game with a run-scoring single. Later in the frame, sophomore Hunter Cole made it 4-3 with an RBI-single and freshman Daniel Nichols capped the scoring with a fielder’s choice. The Bulldogs took advantage of a two-out miscue by the Eagles to add a run in the third for a 6-3 lead. The Eagles cut it to 6-5 with a two-out, two-run single by Hunter Thomas off senior Blake Dieterich in the fifth.
Georgia starter Sean McLaughlin tossed four innings and allowed three runs (two earned) on five hits with one walk and four strikeouts in his debut. He became the first freshman pitcher in Bulldog history to start a season opener, and he wound up with a victory too. GSU starter Justin Hess got the loss after surrendering six runs on eight hits in three innings. The Eagles got exceptional relief from Josh Stevenson, who blanked the Bulldogs for 4.1 innings with no walks and eight strikeouts. He left with two on and one out in the eighth. Chris Myers came on and got senior shortstop Kyle Farmer to hit into a double play to keep it a one-run contest.
Georgia turned to its bullpen again in the bottom of the eighth in sophomore Ross Ripple, and he hit the first two Eagles of the inning. Ripple got Tyler Avera to pop out on a 3-2 offering for the first out. Then with a 1-1 count to Kyle Streicher, the Bulldogs lifted Ripple in favor of redshirt sophomore Grant Earls. It was the Bulldog debut for Earls who was redshirted in 2011 and was injured and didn’t pitch in 2012. Streicher swung at Earls’ first pitch and bounced one to third for a fielder’s choice as the Bulldogs got the runner at second while Eagle left fielder Hunter Thomas made it to third. Pinch-hitter Stryker Brown reached on a four-pitch walk to load the bases for Ben Morgan. He got him to ground out to first to protect the one-run advantage.
In the ninth, Georgia looked to Walsh who was limited to a designated hitter role a year ago while recovering from elbow surgery. This season, he is projected as the closer, and he passed his first test. Entering the game with a 6-5 lead and facing the middle of the Eagle order, Walsh struck out the first two hitters in Griffin and T.D. Davis before allowing an infield hit to Palmer. Then, he battled back to strikeout Thomas to clinch the victory and his first career save.
Duke Edges No. 13 Florida, 4-3, In Season Opener
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Duke snapped a 2-2 tie with a pair of runs in the eighth inning to defeat No. 13 Florida, 4-3, in front of an Opening Night record crowd of 5,771 fans at McKethan Stadium on Friday in the 2013 debut for both squads. Blue Devil junior Mike Rosenfeld (3-for-5), who was a home run shy of hitting for the cycle, delivered an RBI triple off Gator sophomore Corey Stump (Lakeland, Fla.) (0-1) that put the visitors ahead and sophomore Andrew Istler retired all four batters he faced to save the victory for junior Robert Huber (1-0). Tonight marked UF’s first season-opening setback since 2007.
“First of all, I give Duke a lot of credit,” head coach Kevin O’Sullivan said. “I thought their starting pitcher [Trent Swart] did a really nice job – he kept us off-balance and made some big pitches. I thought Jonathon [Crawford] threw the ball well. [Jordan] Betts just ran into one pitch [on a two-run homer in the fourth inning], got the barrel out and did a really nice job. As far as both of those innings, both the fourth and the eighth, [each] started with lead-off walks and that’s kind of been a point of emphasis in the early part of the spring, but you have to give Duke all of the credit. I thought they played a really, really good game. There is always something to pull away from a game, whether you win or lose.”
Gator redshirt freshman Cory Reid (Port St. Lucie, Fla.) opened the scoring with a two-out RBI single down the right-field line in the second inning. After Duke sophomore left-hander Trent Swart retired the first five Florida batters of the contest, sophomore Justin Shafer (Lake Wales, Fla.) (2-for-4) blooped a double into right center field and moved to third base on a wild pitch. Following a four-pitch walk to sophomore Josh Tobias (Greensboro, N.C.) that left runners on the corners, Reid sliced Swart’s first offering into right field to bring across Shafer.
The Blue Devils put a pair of runners aboard in the third but were kept at bay by junior Jonathon Crawford (Okeechobee, Fla.). After junior Mark Lumpa reached on a one-out fielding error by freshman shortstop Richie Martin (Brandon, Fla.) and Istler was hit by a pitch, Crawford induced a ground ball by senior Jeff Kremer that forced Istler at second base and then struck out Rosenfeld to complete the inning with the 1-0 score intact.
Junior Jordan Betts connected on a two-run homer in the fourth to give the visitors a 2-1 advantage. Redshirt sophomore Chris Marconcini had drawn a leadoff walk on a full count and Betts followed with a round-tripper to left center field. Crawford set down the next two batters before junior Anthony D’Alessandro tripled into the right corner. Junior Daniel Gibson (Lutz, Fla.) took over on the mound for Crawford (3.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 4 K) and had Lumpa ground out to first base.
Istler began the fifth with a free pass and moved into scoring position on a grounder by Kremer. Gibson had Rosenfeld fly out to left field and caught Marconcini looking on strikes to complete the stanza. Sophomore Ryan Harris (Jupiter, Fla.) replaced Gibson (1.1 IP) prior to sixth and registered the first two outs before yielding a base-hit into left field by junior Angelo La Bruna. However, Harris picked the runner off first base to end the inning.
UF senior Vickash Ramjit (Miami, Fla.) tied the game at 2-2 in the sixth with a sacrifice fly. Freshman Harrison Bader (Bronxville, N.Y.) (1-for-4, 2 runs) opened the frame with a single into center field, ending a stretch of 10-consecutive hitters set down by Swart. Sophomore Casey Turgeon (Palm Harbor, Fla.) executed a hit-and-run with a single through the right side of the infield to move Bader to third base and Ramjit lofted a fly ball into center field that brought across Bader. Turgeon was thrown out attempting to steal second base to complete the inning.
After Harris worked a 1-2-3 seventh, Duke’s announced starter for Sunday, Huber, replaced Swart (6.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 4 K, 1 BB). Shafer roped a one-out double off the wall in right field but was thrown out trying to stretch his hit into a triple on a perfect relay from Kremer to junior second baseman David Perkins to Betts covering third. Tobias was then robbed of a single on a diving stop and throw by La Bruna.
Stump relieved Harris (2.0 IP, 1 H, 1 K) to start the eighth and permitted a leadoff walk to Kremer. Moments later, Rosenfeld moved the Blue Devils back in front with an RBI triple to deep center field. Stump notched his first career strikeout by catching Marconcini looking and junior Keenan Kish (Worcester, Pa.) was summoned from the bullpen. A fielding error by Turgeon on a grounder by Betts enabled Rosenfeld to score for a 4-2 lead for the visitors. Sophomore Andy Perez was hit for two runners aboard and La Bruna flew out to right for the second out before Kish struck out D’Alessandro.
“We competed today,” Harris said. “We did the best we could and just came up short. But, our team is ready to come back and bounce back tomorrow, to try to even the series and get back at it. It’s just one game; we will move on and build from it.”
The Gators pulled within 4-3 in the home part of the inning. Senior Cody Dent (Boynton Beach, Fla.) had a one-out single but was erased at second base on a fielder’s choice by Bader. Martin collected his first collegiate hit with two down for runners on the corners and a failed pickoff attempt allowed Bader to come home on a fielding error by Perez and trim UF’s deficit to 4-3. A walk to Turgeon prompted a pitching change, as Istler moved into from left field to mound for Huber (1.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R) and had Ramjit fly out to right field to preserve the Blue Devils’ lead.
Kish recorded the first two outs of the ninth before surrendering consecutive singles to Kremer and Rosenfield. Freshman Danny Young (Boca Raton, Fla.) kept the Blue Devils off the board further with a strikeout of sophomore Grant McCabe. Istler put the Gators down in order to help head coach Chris Pollard claim his debut as Duke’s skipper. Each team totaled seven hits.
LSU WINS THE SEASON OPENER IN FRONT OF RECORD CROWD
BATON ROUGE, La. – LSU sophomore right-hander Aaron Nola (1-0) spearheaded a 1-0 shutout in the Tigers’ season opening victory over Maryland in front of a record paid crowd of 12,373 on a cool night at Alex Box Stadium.
Game 2 of the three game series will begin Saturday at 1 p.m. (CT). Saturday’s contest will be broadcast live on Cox Sports Television, and it can be heard on the LSU Sports Radio Network. Junior right-hander Ryan Eades will take the mound for the Tigers and junior right-hander Brady Kirkpatrick will take the mound for the Terrapins.
With the win, LSU extended its season opener win streak to 12 games.
LSU relied on a dominant pitching performance behind Nola and relievers Joey Bourgeois and Chris Cotton. The trio allowed four hits on the night, and never let a runner advance past second.
“I thought it was a pretty well-played game, especially for the first game of the season,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “You’re never quite sure what’s going to happen in the first game, but I thought our players showed a lot of composure to earn the win.”
Nola was near perfect, going 6.2 innings, allowing two hits and striking out nine, which was one shy of his career high. The righty set down the side in order in four separate innings and recorded nine straight outs from the fourth to the sixth inning.
“Nola was obviously the story of the game, he showed why he is one of the best pitchers in the nation,” Mainieri said. “He was outstanding the entire night, and he did a wonderful job of keeping their hitters off-balance.”
Bourgeois was flawless in his inning of work and struck out one. Cotton earned his first save on the season and third of his career after 1.1 innings of work.
Center fielder Chris Sciambra, in his first game since missing most of last season because of a devastating neck injury, delivered a career high four hits and scored the game’s only run out of the leadoff spot.
“Sciambra is just a remarkable story; he’s recovered from a very serious injury and is playing at a very high level,” Mainieri said. “We’re expecting him to be a huge contributor to the success of our team this season.”
Freshman short stop Alex Bregman notched his first career RBI off of a hard hit single just passed the second baseman’s glove. Sciambra raced home from third after reaching base on a double down the third base line and advancing to third on a Mark Laird ground out.
Maryland starter Jimmy Reed (0-1) was credited with the loss after allowing one run on six hits. Relievers Jamie Pashuck and Kevin Mooney combined to hold the Tigers scoreless in their three innings of work.
LSU put two runners on in the second and sixth inning, but could not tag on a coveted insurance run. Left fielder Raph Rhymes added two singles and second baseman JaCoby Jones reached base three times.
NINTH-INNING RALLY NOT IN CARDS AS VOLS DROP 2013 OPENER AT UNLV, 10-9
LAS VEGAS - Tennessee battled UNLV tooth-and-nail in the 2013 season opener, but a two-out rally in the ninth inning just wasn’t in the cards as the Vols dropped a back-and-forth affair, 10-9, at Earl Wilson Stadium in Las Vegas.
Trailing by two with two outs and two strikes in the top of the ninth, a hit batter, a walk and an RBI single cut the UT deficit to a single run. Freshman A.J. Simcox then absolutely smoked a line drive on the first pitch he saw but it settled harmlessly into the first baseman’s mitt for the game’s final out.
“Our heads were down, but I said to [the team] before the game started that tonight’s game, this weekend doesn’t signify us as a team,” UT head coach Dave Serrano said. “If we play that hard and with that much fight every day, things are going to go our way.
“I loved the spirit of the team. You don’t panic with a season-opening loss. A lot of good things happened tonight, just the most negative was the scoreboard said they had one more run than us.”
Junior Scott Price finished a perfect 5-for-5 at the plate in his Tennessee debut with four singles and a double, while freshman Christin Stewart was 2-for-4 with three RBIs, two runs scored and the first home run of his collegiate career.
Fellow freshmen Vance Vizcaino and David Houser posted two-hit efforts as well. Price’s five-hit game was the first by a Vol since both Matt Duffy and P.J. Polk accomplished the feat against Georgia in 2010.
“We had a lot of big contributions from the young guys and that is what the future is going to be,” Serrano said. “We have to learn how to win. There were some breakdowns that came out in today’s game that we hadn’t seen in intra-squad games and that is part of starting the season. We expect those things to happen and you go back and fix them. We hope the experience that they get every pitch, every inning, we can continue to build on.”
In all, the Vols started a school-record tying five true freshmen on Friday, in addition to having three other program newcomers in the lineup as well. The five freshmen in the Opening Day starting lineup tied the UT record first set in 1989.
Senior Zack Godley started the game on the mound for the Big Orange, striking out six while yielding five runs on eight hits over five frames of work. Junior Dalton Saberhagen (0-1) suffered the loss for UT as he was hit for two runs in a third of an inning.
The starting pitchers for each team cruised through the first three innings before both squads struck for multiple runs in the fourth.
The Vols staged a two-out rally to crack the scoreboard first, with Stewart lacing a two-RBI single to right center to give the Big Orange a 2-0 advantage. It wouldn’t last long though, as the Rebels used run-scoring singles from T.J. White, Joey Swanner and Ryan Scott to jump in front, 3-2.
After a scoreless fifth frame, Stewart got the scoring started once again with his first collegiate home run, a solo shot off the scoreboard in left, which tied the game. Just moments later, a UNLV throwing error allowed another UT runner to cross the plate before freshman A.J. Simcox stroked a single to left for his first career hit and first two RBIs as a collegiate player.
The Rebels answered UT’s four-run stanza with a four-run frame of their own however, taking a 7-6 lead through six full innings.
Tennessee refused to back down, immediately regaining the lead in the top of the seventh. Once again, it was the UT freshmen that did the damage as Stewart drew a one-out walk and Vizcaino and Houser followed with back-to-back singles, the second of which brought two runs in to score.
With an 8-7 lead in hand, the Vols were able to hold serve as freshman Trevor Charpie kept the Rebels off the scoreboard in the bottom of the seventh. That was just a momentary reprieve though as UNLV jumped back in front with three runs in the bottom of the eighth, which set up the dramatic top of the ninth.